Have you ever been so attracted to someone that you were tempted to stray from the straight and narrow? Or perhaps you simply couldn't relinquish the dice at the table no matter how much debt you'd already accumulated. If so, good news: you may not have been entirely at fault. Texts dating back thousands of years tell us that carnal desire and serial gambling are the work of a demon some describe as a "prince of Hell," a terrifying three-headed monster named Asmodeus - the demon who spits fire and travels by dragon.
With his wife, Lilith, the queen of vampires, Asmodeus perpetually spawns new demons to bring chaos to the world, inciting lechery and excess wherever they roam. Let's dive into the myths, legends, fables, and sacred texts to answer the hellishly burning question: who was Lilith's husband, Asmodeus the lust demon?
The exact origins of countless ancient gods, demons, jinn, giants, and heroes have been lost to time or blurred from its annals. But the tales of some other entities have been passed down through generations, sometimes merging with similar figures in different cultures. Asmodeus is one of the latter.
In some depictions, Asmodeus is a creation of God and was one of the fallen angels who followed Lucifer in rebelling against the Lord. In the Talmud, however, which collects rabbinical discussions of Jewish law, Asmodeus (or Ashmedai in Hebrew) is depicted as the son of Adam and Naamah. He is one of the four angels of sacred harlotry and was conceived before the creation of Eve.
According to the Christian Bible, Eve is the first woman, formed from Adam's rib to be his consort. But the ancient Alphabet of Ben Sira describes Lilith as the first woman, created at the same time as Adam to be his equal. When she refuses to lie beneath Adam, Lilith flees from the Garden of Eden and refuses to return. God curses Lilith for her defiance, and as such, Hebraic tradition depicts her as a temptress and slayer of children.
She eventually marries Asmodeus, himself a tempter and demon of lust, and together they endlessly procreate demonic offspring to spread chaos throughout the world. Of those children, 100 of them must perish each day to satisfy Lilith's pact with God and the angels Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, who were tasked with bringing her back to Eden.
Various incarnations of Asmodeus depict the demon as an attractive young man who limps because one of his legs is that of a rooster. The most common depiction of the beast comes from the 1863 edition of the Dictionnaire Infernal by Collin de Plancy. The illustration, by French maritime painter Louis Le Breton, depicts Asmodeus with the chest and head of a fire-breathing, sharp-toothed, pointy-eared man wearing a crown, while the heads of a ram and a bull protrude from his shoulders.
Like other depictions, Le Breton's includes a rooster leg, as well as the tail of a serpent. Asmodeus roams the Earth atop a dragon with a lion's body. The creatures associated with Asmodeus are often connected to lust, a sin for which the demon is particularly known.
Asmodeus has always been associated with lust - the demon tells King Solomon in the 1st century CE apocryphal Testament of Solomon that his "business is to plot against the newly wedded" by driving husbands into "fits of madness and desire," causing them to cheat on their wives with other women.
In that text, he is referred to as the "king of demons," but medieval scholars classified Asmodeus as merely one of the seven archdemons of Hell; as such, he is one of those responsible for the Seven Cardinal Sins that tempt humans into the ruin of their souls. In this hierarchy, Asmodeus's dominion is lechery - he causes performance issues when men are with their wives and induces their attraction to other women.